The Relationship Between Stress and Addiction

Stress propels substance use disorders (SUD) at all stages of the disease. It increases your risk of developing a SUD, it negatively reinforces it, and it often is the cause of relapse. Not only does stress contribute to the disorder, but the disorder also causes pathological changes to the stress response circuitry in your brain and increases your vulnerability to stressors. By eliminating stress with NuCalm, you can stop the development of addiction and get back on your feet. NuCalm acts directly on the HPA-axis of the stress response circuitry to inhibit chronic stress and create stress resiliency.

Substance use disorders, or addiction disorders, are diagnosed according to the criteria they meet in the DSM-5 indicating that prolonged use of a psychoactive compound, including nicotine, alcohol, cannabinoids, opioids, depressants, stimulants, and hallucinogens, has led to both behavioral and physical changes that interfere with one’s daily life.

  • Substance misuse is often a negative coping mechanism as it provides an escape from pain or stress
  • Substances are often misused as they provide relief or mood enhancement.
  • The negative and positive reinforcements of using substances propel harmless misuse into consequential abuse and dependency
  • Prolonged substance use changes the brain circuitry of pathways involving response to reward and stress, which causes users to develop behaviors that are more reward-seeking and more vulnerable or sensitive to stressors.
  • Changes in the brain neurocircuitry make it very challenging to quit using and difficult to recover from using substances

Because of this vicious cycle, with stress as the root cause, relapse rates for substance use disorders are close to 40-60%. By targeting stress amidst this whole cycle, one’s risk of developing a substance use disorder (SUD) may be reduced, pathological changes to stress response circuitry may be altered, and relapse may be prevented.

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Battling Addiction with NuCalm

Manage Anxiety

Anxiety and addiction go hand in hand, but with NuCalm, they don’t have to, as NuCalm is clinically proven to help treat addiction.

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With anxiety out of the picture, you lower your risk of developing a SUD, you remove a negative reinforcer of the disease, and you can more easily and openly work through your recovery.

Anxiety can be classified as a disorder when a person is in a state of constant stress, worry, and/or fear to a point where it affects their professional and social lives. Many people with generalized anxiety disorder resort to self-medication with drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism which often develops into a substance use disorder. Then the addiction disorder further propels the anxiety disorder as the brain’s reward and stress circuitry is being rewired, resulting in a downward spiral. NuCalm can break this cycle by eliminating anxiety and interrupting the stress response at the source in the midbrain. NuCalm can provide a healthy and positive coping mechanism for those struggling with anxiety. When recovering from an addiction disorder, NuCalm also alleviates anxiety during withdrawal to reduce the negative reinforcement that anxiety creates for using substances. NuCalm clears the mind to help individuals face their mental health issues with a better sense of focus, calm, and ease.

Decrease Depression

Co-occuring depression and addiction is one of the most common dual-diagnoses and is difficult to overcome. But NuCalm can help make recovery a reality.

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It wipes away negative emotions by increasing blood flow to the frontal cortex and increasing the production of serotonin, the happy-hormone.

Depression is a psychiatric disorder that most often co-occurs with a substance use disorder. In a similar way to anxiety and addiction, there is a bi-directional relationship between the two disorders, whereby depression leads to substance abuse, and substance use further propels depression. NuCalm is clinically proven to treat anxiety and depression as it cuts acute stress and suspends the body into a parasympathetic state. During a NuCalm session and in a parasympathetic dominant state, there is increased blood flow to the frontal cortex and the production of hormones such as serotonin. With greater blood flow to the frontal cortex, emotions and behavior can be better controlled which are important factors when overcoming depression. Furthermore, an increase in serotonin levels can help elevate mood and energy levels, which is also stunted during depression. A positive attitude and outlook is a huge driver for recovery from depression and substance use disorders. NuCalm can get individuals in the right state of mind to succeed through rehabilitation.

Lower Risk of Addiction

Stress is unavoidable, but allowing stress to manifest into addiction is avoidable.

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NuCalm puts the brakes on stress and serves as a positive coping mechanism in lieu of drugs or alcohol. Using NuCalm to build stress resiliency can lower ones risk of developing a SUD.

NuCalm gives you a positive coping mechanism when faced with difficult or traumatic situations to prevent you from turning to drugs or alcohol for relief of pain or stress. NuCalm allows you to be calm and focused as life throws obstacles and hurdles in your direction. It increases blood flow to the frontal cortex of the brain likely helping you make logical decisions and choose healthy behaviors. There are strong indicators that using NuCalm will build stress resiliency and thus lower your risk of developing a substance use disorder.

Manage Withdrawal

NuCalm can help reduce the symptoms of withdrawal. Not only does it upregulate GABA within the body which may reduce toxic excitation of detox, but it ultimately suspends the body its natural recovery state.

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The symptoms of withdrawal differ depending on the drug being abused but most can manifest in serious physical or mental ways. Acute withdrawal or detoxification from depressants and alcohol for example, swing your body into an overexcited state, to overcompensate for long periods of inhibition, which may cause seizures, nausea, shakes, anxiety and sympathetic nervous dominance. NuCalm activates the GABAergic system or inhibitory nervous system which may reduce the intensity of detox symptoms. Furthermore, NuCalm brings you into parasympathetic dominance to allow your body to stabilize and recover. It will also reduce the anxiety throughout this whole uncomfortable period.

Prime for Other Therapy

Battling addiction requires multifaceted interventions. However, anxiety interferes with certain treatments especially group or talk therapies.

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NuCalm puts patients into a relaxed and calm state so they can focus their energy in the forward direction.

Current treatment for substance use disorders relies heavily on behavioral therapy once the detox is complete. However, not everyone responds well to either cognitive behavioral therapy or group therapy, usually because they are still in a highly anxious state. NuCalm cuts the acute stress response, to allow patients to feel calm and safe enough to lower their guards and respond properly. It also increases blood flow to the brain and may increase neuroplasticity which helps to reconfigure circuitry around reward and stress pathways and prime the brain for behavioral therapy. Continuing treatment is vital to preventing relapse and NuCalm may be the tool to help ensure patients stay on their course of treatment.